Girls’ tennis falls to Benilde

Recent loss leaves team with 7-2 record

Anna duSaire

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Eli Curran-Moore

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As the final singles match played out on court 7, the rest of the girls varsity tennis team sat together watching collectively from the adjacent court, supportive but dispirited.

Senior captain Maddie Lund said she thought the team’s own mental stress played a role in the loss.

“After a while the pressure can really get to you. I think tennis is an absolute mental game, and I think after a lot of time, after a lot of points and hits and points games, it can get really tough,” Lund said. “I think that played a huge part in why we lost today.”

Junior Violet Huber said this game was a big match against a longtime rival.

“(This match was) our biggest match probably, we’ve been trying to win against (BSM) the past couple of years,” Huber said. “It was kind of scary going into (the match), but really when it come down to it, we’re just as good as they are,” Huber said.

Head coach David Breitenbucher said BSM’s skill is a force to be reckoned with, but certainly not unbeatable.

“Benilde is pretty good. Going in the season everyone was talking about how Benilde was the best in to the conference, so we knew we had an uphill battle. (The loss) wasn’t necessarily anything we did, I think Benilde is just a pretty tough team.”

Lund said both team’s were very competitive and Park played very well.

“I thought we fought really hard. BSM is one of the hardest teams we’re going to play this year and even though we lost I thought we played really well,” Lund said. “We went into third sets, which is really good and means we’re working just as hard as them.”

Junior Violet Huber said she felt great about her own improvement and communication.

“Maddie (Lund) and I won 6-0, 6-0. I felt I played really good. I made way less errors and I was super consistent, along with Maddie. We worked really good together,” Huber said. “We’re really competitive. We are also consistent, being very aggressive, so I think we’re doing really good.”

Lund said staying consistent and keeping positive is a set goal for the rest of the season.

“As a team I think we need to work mentally on our games because that’s a big factor,” Lund said. “In tennis having a positive attitude really is everything, you’re alone on the court so it’s a big deal not to get frustrated with yourself. When you have a positive team attitude it helps a lot,” Lund said.

Huber said she still has things she wants to improve.

“For sure coming up to the net more (is what I want to improve) because I like to stay back on short balls. (Also) getting my first serve in and having a stronger serve,” Huber said. “Just working on it with practice. Just being more consistent in my matches.”

Breitenbucher said the plan is to continue to practice hard, eliminate weaknesses and look for improvement, in hopes of a future win over BSM.

“Just keep improving, everyday in practice we’ve got to get a little bit better, our doubles have to work together, singles players just gotta keep working on their weaknesses,” Breitenbucher said. “Every week I swear you can see improvement and at the end of the year we could face them and we could flip into sections if we do draw Benilde.”

The next match will take place at 4:15 p.m. Sept. 19 at St. Louis Park High School against Robbinsdale Cooper.